Kansas State will play UCLA in the Cactus Bowl on December 26 in Phoenix, Arizona.
K-State Head Coach Bill Snyder
“The opportunity to once again be in the desert is something that our players and people that travel with us, from staff to families, have always enjoyed, and they will certainly enjoy their time there. The opportunities that are provided through the bowl are very special to our program. People have been very gracious to us, and we look forward to returning. Certainly the opponent, UCLA, is a very fine football team that has been through some difficult times during the course of the season with a number of injuries but should be healthy for the ballgame. They are more than a formidable opponent. Our players are excited about the opportunity to be in another bowl game. They take none of them lightly. We remember playing in the Copper Bowl in 1993, and we had 22,500 people in the first one for my career here and people were overjoyed. It was a wonderful experience, and each one thereafter has been very special. Our people are looking forward to it, and I am grateful and thankful that we have the opportunity.”
On finishing the season strong and carrying momentum into the bowl…
“I am certainly pleased with the progress that the young people in our program made during the course of the latter part of the season. The lull in between, which has happened to us for two years in succession, really needs a great deal of attention. It was a very disappointing time during that stretch in the middle. As you would hope for, expect and ask of your players, I thought they responded quite well. They obviously played well in the last several ballgames of the year. Last year when we came back and finished the season quite well at the end, that propelled us into the bowl game. I thought there was a very positive approach, and hopefully the finish this year will do the same for our ballgame with UCLA.”
On the team’s schedule last week after playing on the final weekend of the season over the last several years…
“We did not practice this past week. Players are getting prepared for final exams, and they certainly needed a rest. Our open date – now that we are down to just one open date within the conference – came after the (third) ballgame. So, consequently, they’ve been at it full-go for (nine) weeks in a row. They needed some time off, and we afforded them that. We will start this coming week. The players relish the time off and it was beneficial for them in a lot of different ways, particularly in academics, but also just to get freshened up.”
Asst. Director/Athletics Communications | K-State Athletics